Duke Blue Devils vs. Syracuse Orange – College Football, October 10, 2020

| October 8, 2020 12:29 am PDT

The Blue Devils and Orange have clashed in some big games at the Carrier Dome. However, those took place on the hardwood, while Saturday’s 12:30 pm local kickoff is going down on the gridiron.

David Cutcliffe and the players in his locker room are desperately hoping to avoid an 0-5 start, but can the team from Durham make it happen on the road?

Let’s take a look at look at a Duke vs. Syracuse prediction to find out.

Duke vs. Syracuse Odds

Duke (-2.5)-110
Syracuse (+2.5)-110
Duke to Win-135
Syracuse to Win+115
Over 51.5-110
Under 51.5-110

I’m wondering if the top betting sites know something we don’t.

Duke has been getting pummeled and enters this contest winless through four games. The ‘Cuse might be 1-2, but both of their losses came on the road versus ranked opponents. The Orange smacked the Yellow Jackets their last time out and have had an extra week to recuperate.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about this line is seeing the total up at 51.5 points. Both of these programs average fewer than 18 points per game, and the Syracuse defense has been menacing.

Previewing the Blue Devils

According to David Cutcliffe, he’s the one to blame for the Blue Devils struggles on offense.

“It’s been a little bit of a repetitive feeling as you come up and (explain) why you have gotten beaten. The inconsistency of our team falls and lies on the head coach. The inconsistency of our offense, in this case, also falls and lies on the head coach.”

That’s unfortunate, but let’s not have a pity party for the so-called QB guru.

The Blue Devils are averaging a pathetic 3.0 yards per rush and will have to rely on their air attack. The problem with that is Chase Brice has thrown 7 picks (2nd most in FBS) and the Orange lead the nation with 7 interceptions.

Duke wants to spread the ball out and runs as many plays as possible, but they’ll have to clean up their act on third down first. Coach Cutcliffe’s offense is converting just 36% of third downs – in large part due to porous play from the offensive line.

Brice has been sacked 16 times – more than any other player in college football.

Previewing the Orange

If you think Dino Babers and his crew are worried about being the underdogs, you may want to guess again. When asked about the Blue Devils being favored on Saturday, ‘Cuse cornerback Garrett Williams offered a mature response.

“We try not to focus on that because we were underdogs against Georgia Tech last week as well. We just focus on our scouting reports and practicing hard and we know if we do those things right, we’ll have a good chance of winning the game on Saturday.”

Williams is among the defensive backs who will need to step as it appears that Syracuse will once again be without their stud safety.

The Orange also need to do a better job of protecting Tommy DeVito as the junior QB has been sacked 15 times. Ironically, no quarterback in America has been sacked more than 11 times aside from Brice and DeVito.

Could this be one major slop fest?

Probably, but someone has to emerge. With that in mind, onto a Duke vs. Syracuse prediction.

Duke vs. Syracuse Pick

I’m not quite sure why the Blue Devils are favored. The Orange win outright in 56.8% of simulations according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.

Digging deeper, Syracuse’s best asset is their ability to force turnovers – namely through the air. Duke’s biggest shortcoming has been their inability to take care of the football – namely through the air.

Furthermore, the Orange have been at home resting with an additional week of rest. Can you start to sense why this ACC battle was highlighted as one of my college football upset picks to target?

As Duke prepares to travel to upstate New York, head to MyBookie and back Syracuse to win the game. 

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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